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Newsline

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

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U.s. 11, Tokyo 10, Us 4, China 4, Paris 3, Murakami 2, Catherine 2, Phillip Crowly 2, Kan 2, Ozawa 2, Shanghai 2, Taiwan 2, Newsline 2, Sarah Shourd 1, Kim 1, Takashi Murakami 1, Northern China 1, United States 1, Groom 1, Barack Obama 1,
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  PBS    Newsline    News/Business. World events, business news and  
   weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 14, 2010
    7:00 - 7:30pm PDT  

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hello there. welcome to this edition of "newsline." glad you could join us. it's wednesday, september 15th. 11:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. the yen continues to rise. the japanese government has finally stepped in. we have the details. >> thanks, catherine. good morning. on the new york foreign exchange the japanese currency soared to the 82 yen level against the u.s. dollar on
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tuesday, following prime minister kan's victory in the democratic party presidential race. earlier on the tokyo foreign exchange, the dollar hit the 82-yen level for the first time in about 15 years. the move follows japan prime minister kan's reelection as head of the dpj on tuesday. he defeated ichiro 0 za with a. sources say that investors are also selling the dollar against other currencies on speculation the u.s. may take other easing measures. currently the dollar is changing hands at 84.09-10. earlier on the tokyo foreign exchange, the dollar hit the 82-yen level for the first time about 15 years and we had this story earlier. as the dollar weakens, gold prices in new york hit a new record high this comes as
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investors seek the safety of a precious metal. overnight on the new york america tile exchange. futures climbed renewing a record set in june. gold is denominated in dollars and becomes much more attractive when the greenback depreciates against other currencies. market players say overseas investors are taking advantage of the dollar's weakness to buy gold as a safer asset. weaker yen lifted tokyo stock prices on wednesday morning and the nikkei jumped up ending the morning session at 9,470 up 171 ticks or 1.8%. an here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. thises a yield on the benchmark on the 10-year japanese government bond. hong song just started trading and up 0.4%.
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the shanghai key index is down 0.6% and the sse composite down 0.8%. back to the main news with catherine. >> all right. thanks very much. members of the ruling democratic party voted to re-elect prime minister kan on tuesday. kan addressed the media shortly after his victory. >> i have three years left on my term as a member of the lower house. before the dpj came to power, the liberal democratic party had three short-lived prime ministers. as for the democratic party, i've stayed in my post for only three months. from now on, i will fully work on reviving the japanese economy. i will get through the three
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years with that determination as prime minister. >> kan was up against powerful politician ichiro ozawa in a race to lead the dpj and the country. the election was decided on a points-based system. slightly more than 1,200 points were available. kan won 721 points, while ozawa took 491. kan claimed the vast majority of points from rank and file members and supporters. he also gained more points than ozawa from local assembly members. but they essentially split the points from dpj lawmakers. with three decades in politics, kan is considered a popular figure who understands the needs of ordinary citizens. the 63-year-old took over as democratic party leader and prime minister at the beginning of june. after hatoyama resigned. his first few months in office have been tough. the dpj suffered a major setback in july's upper house election. then kan had to devote time to this two-week leadership campaign. now that he's staying on as prime minister, kan is expected
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to push ahead with his economic recovery plans. u.s. assistance secretary of state phillip crowly did not make an official comment on kan's re-election but says the two countries will continue to cooperate on relocating the u.s. marine corps futenma air station in okinawa. >> we have a realignment plan. it is a government-to-government agreement, and we will continue to move forward with japan according to this plan. >> the chinese foreign ministry also did not comment on tuesday's election, saying it was japan's domestic affair. some chinese officials say they're puzzled to have seen two prime ministers in the past year under the democratic government. they say they're watching closely to see if the election will stabilize japan's administration. the south korean government has not released an official statement, but it's expected to take the news favorably because last month kan expressed remorse and apologized for the past colonization of korea on the
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100th anniversary of japan's annexation. about 2,000 tourists were evacuated from the eiffel tower in paris on tuesday evening after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat. french police say the tower's management office received a call saying the structure had been rigged with explosives. visitors were cleared from the monument and nearby parks. >> we were just about to get on the elevator, and they told us that something was wrong, a technical problem, and we all had to leave. >> police say a three-hour search by a bomb disposal team failed to turn up any explosives. around the same time, a station in central paris was closed for about an hour due to a similar threat. police are examining phone records to find out whether the two threats were from the same caller. iran has released an american woman after detaining her for more than one year.
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but said it's not considering the immediate release of two other americans. sarah shourd and the two men were arrested in july last year for illegally entering iran from iraq. they were questioned in an iranian prison on suspicion of spying. their families say they were hiking in a scenic mountain area. the iranian authorities had demanded bail of $500,000 to release shourd for health reasons. they announced on tuesday that they had received the payment. shourd left iran later in the day and arrived in amman where she was greeted by her mother and uncle. she expressed hope that the other two americans would be freed immediately. >> they should be standing here with me. they deserve -- they don't deserve to be in prison a minute longer than i do. >> the iranian authorities said the detention of the men had been extended for two months. u.s. president barack obama issued a statement calling for their release.
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jeerk the u.s. expressed sunrise of rising tension between japan and china following the detention of a chinese trawler captain by the japan coast guard. the man was detained near islands claimed by china and taiwan. >> on this narrow issue we hope to be resolved by china and gentleman man. >> u.s. assistant secretary of state phillip crowly told reporters on tuesday that maintaining peace and stability in the far east is the interest of the u.s. china has escalated the reaction to the detention. on monday they postponed a scheduled visit to japan by the national people's congress. an exhibition by the japanese pop artist takashi murakami is under way at the palace of versailles in france.
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the show has been praised and criticized by french traditionalists. an installation of about 20 of murakami's works was open to the public on tuesday at the world heritage site outside paris. the animation inspired sculptures include a girl character and a colorful flower object. a six meter tall statue of a golden cupba, a legendary japanese creature, is in sharp contrast with its surroundings. >> i think it's a great idea to -- with the whole difference, it will make you think about the art itself and the place itself. >> dozens of french conservatives held a protest outside the palace arguing that the exhibits are unsuitable for the venue. >> murakami's exhibition will run through december 12th.
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the organization of the petroleum exporting countries is 50 years ole. speaking on the anniversary of its founding on tuesday, secretary general said the rise of alternative energies such as solar power would not diminish the role of the organization. speaking in vienna he said that opec has enough reserves to meet demand for 50 years. >> we have enough reserve in countries. enough preserve in other part of the world so you will see fuel will be around for the next 50 years. i'm sure will be fossil fuel for the coming years. >> he pointed out that other energy sources such as bio fuels could face problems because some
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are made from maze aize and user food consumption and said he is comfortable with current oil prices between $70 and $80 a barrel and hoped that economic growth would drive demand for oil in both industrialized nations and emerging economies. u.s. retail sales rose in august for the second straight month. mainly due to strong sales of clothing and gasoline. tuesday said that u.s. retailers totalled $363.7 billion last month. the increase was bigger than expected. sales of clothing were up 1.2% and gasoline sales rose by 1.9%. purchases at department stores and mass retailers rose 0.4%. but sales of cars and auto parts fell 0.7%. attention is now focused on whether u.s. personal spending will continue to pick up. higher consumer spending is
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vital for u.s. economic recovery. new condominium sales in and around tokyo increased in a seventh month in august compared with a year earlier. retailers stepped up the efforts. research firm real estate economic institute says about 220 units went on sale last month. the number is up 18.5% year in year. in particular, within tokyo's 23 metropolitan districts, unit sales climbed over 40% and the rate of secured cells contracts at nearly 5% making august the eighth consecutive month with sales of 70% indicating a brisk market. the average unit price at $530,000, up sixth month in a row. the research firm says while markets are still sluggish, sales are on the rise in large cities. next is our report.
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driving schools in japan are struggling to stay in business. last year, about 1.5 million people graduated from driving courses, 25% drop from ten years ago. the falling birthrate and failing interest of young people in cars is to blame so some driving schools are offering unique services to stay in the game. >> for about $1, you can get a relaxing full body massage here. or have your nails done in one of the season's latest colors. but if you think this is just another new low-priced salon, think again. it's a driving school. that's right. a driving school. this one in tokyo started offering these kinds of extra services three years ago to pamper female customers who'd complained about having nothing to do between classes. >> well, it is made of plastic. before this one.
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the word, right? >> the driving school now offers six additional services. including english lessons and flower arranging all for just $1. >> translator: it's amazing that you can learn to make such a gorgeous flower arrangement for just a dollar. it motivates you to go to driving class. >> translator: it's really hard to get business right now. but we have attracted customers by changing the negative perception of driving schools. >> intense competition has driving schools pulling out all the stops. at another school in tokyo, students taking a motorcycle license course can train on a harley-davidson. the school began the service in july to lure men of a certain age who'd always dreamed of riding a classic hog.
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>> translator: there's a 3% drop of enrollment every year. we thought we could reverse this trend and attract new customers by offering lessons on a harley. >> reporter: the big surprise was that the number of women in the course rose. since the harley is low to the ground, it's easier for women to climb on. >> translator: i've always wanted to ride a harley. >> thanks to the harleys the school saw a rise in enrollment of about 20% from a year ago. a driving school in suburban tokyo also started offering a different kind of service in may. in the lobby, you can see that parents have brought along the children. and guess what. it's the kids who are taking the driving lessons. after a brief expla ration of
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the rules of the road, they're off to the driving course. the school spend about $140,000 to buy these miniature cars. the maximum speed of these mini roadsters is 8 kilometers per hour, no speed demons here but then again no worries for mom and dad. so far more than 3,000 children are enrolled. a lot of the kids come back for more over and over again. one child has reportedly taken the course 30 times. >> translator: it was really fun to make turns and to stop. >> the lessons cost about $14 per child and are limited to children age 3 and up. after the lesson, the kids are awarded a driver's license. >> translator: we hope these children become more familiar with cars and develop an affinity for them so when they
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get older they'll come back to get a real driver's license. >> there are currently 1,550 driving schools in japan. to avoid being driven out of business they may have to rev up their special services to keep the customers coming back for more. >> and next is a recap of the latest market figures.
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>> and that's all for now in biz news. now to south korea where more young couples are choosing to wed in traditional ceremonies instead of western ones. next we meet a man who strives to make traditional ceremonies an opportunity for young couples to forge deep and meaningful bonds. ♪ >> reporter: this wedding in seoul, as popularity of western style weddings grew, the demand for traditional weddings declined. but now an increasing number of couples are choosing more traditional ceremonies.
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this shop sells traditional clothing. historical dramas have made traditional wedding ceremonies more popular so young customers buy classical wedding dresses. >> translator: a traditional wedding actually feels more suitable so we decided to go with one. >> reporter: kim ki jen performs traditional ceremonies. he has joined over 1,000 couples in matrimony during his ten-year career. born in a family of chinese classical scholars, he learned traditional ceremonies have a spirit of harmony. as divorces increased, kim decided to spread his values. on this day, a couple arrives to talk about their wedding.
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kim tells them the most important part of a traditional ceremony is that it manifests the couple's respect for one another. >> reporter: on the wedding day, kim explains that all facets of the classical wedding ceremony represent the importance of harmony.
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>> reporter: one side of the ghord goes to the groom. the other, to the bride. when they drink together, they officially become a couple. >> translator: i felt a new love born within us as we became a married couple. we'll work hard to keep our life together happy. >> translator: the traditional wedding ceremonies remind us of the importance of harmony. by making up for the other's shortcomings, you will be able to maintain a peaceful relationship. >> reporter: kim hopes that the recent popularity of old-time wedding rites among younger couples will encourage them to look more deeply into their relationship.
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hi, welcome back to your world weather update. for east asia, we are keeping a close eye on this cluster of clouds. that is tropical depression that is looking like it might organize a little bit more, strengthen and turn into a tropical storm system in the next 24 hours or so. and then could bring very windy conditions and pretty stormy weather, too. northern philippines and taiwan. for now, though, things look fairly calm. scattered showers across the area and hopefully win not too strong just yet. for china, coastals areas, looking for moisture. inland not too bad here although in the north there's a little bit of rain moving out of mongolia. looking like scattered spots pick up more moisture today. for northern china, autumn
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sunshine and central southern porgs of japan, cloud cover and showers throughout the day. 32 degrees for you high in shanghai and 35 in taipei. 33 degrees for manila and cooler in 26 for your high. now, over towards the americas and those looking pretty stormy here in the caribbean. we have got a tropical storm system that just formed, tropical storm karl. winds now at 5 kilometers per hour and likely going to land on the yuk that peninsula of mexico sometime wednesday, cross over the peninsula and head out into the gulf late wednesday or early thursday. once it makes land fall, it can weaken a little bit and more strengthening to occur over the gulf. warm waters here.
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keeping a close eye on that. bringing hefty showers across the yucatan on the next day or so. risk of flooding and landslides. isolated areas could be looking to pick up 200 millimeters. now, out in the atlantic we have got a hurricane igor. now, getting pretty close to leeward islands and still far out at sea. a couple of rough waves are going to be impacting the islands here. puerto rico, the virgina virgin, too. this storm system is very big and power. category 4 major hurricane. looks like it stays out to sea and could be close to bermuda. keeping a close eye on the developments in the next couple of days. now behind that is hurricane julia. definitely a much stronger system since yesterday. wind speeds now 140 kilometers per hour. hopefully this one, too, stays out at sea but we'll be keeping a close eye on this storm system, as well. now for the americas, united
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states, first of all, seeing rain showers developing here and that will include stronger storms later tuesday. elsewhere settled with wet and windy weather here in the east and pulling away. temperatures recovering nicely. new york at 24. 28 degrees for d.c. and then still pretty hot for houston, 34 degrees for your high on wednesday. all right. now here is your three-day forecast.
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the bank of japan intervened in the currency market on wednesday morning for the first
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time in six and a half years after the dollar hit the 82-yen level. action was taken believing that the rapid appreciation of the yen would hamper japan's economy showing signs of improvement. now let's look at the latest dollar-yen movement. the dollar currently changing hands at 84.25-29. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobiyashi in tokyo. my colleague gene otani will be up next with more of your
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updates. stay with us. j
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